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War of Words: Threatening Iran too big for Israel's mouth, says Rafsanjani

Akbar Hashemi RafsanjaniTEHRAN, June 29 (Mehr News Agency) - Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani dismissed Israel's military threats against Iran as a psychological warfare.
Any threat against Iran is bigger than Israel's mouth, Rafsanjani said in comments carried by Qatar-based al-Jazeera TV on Saturday.

However, he warned of Iran's "massive and fatal" retaliation if the Zionist regime "commits such a folly".

He said Iran's response would be both political and military without providing further details.

Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki also said on Sunday that the Zionist regime is not in a position to threaten Iran.

"The Zionist regime is not in a position to start this adventurism as they know what could be the answer to such impudence," IRNA quoted Mottaki as saying.

Mottaki stated that Israel is still "suffering from the aftershocks" of its humiliating defeat in the 33-day war with Hezbollah in 2006.

Rafsanjani also stated that the Bush administration is unlikely to attack Iran, saying, "The repercussions of any strike on the Islamic Republic would be disastrous for the entire region"

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rafsanjani said a proposed security pact between Iraq and the United States would perpetuate the occupation of Iraq.

Iraq is negotiating with the United States on a new agreement which would extend the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq beyond 2008, when their United Nations mandate expires.

"The agreement is negative and will perpetuate the occupation of Iraq which Iran is opposed to. Iran will not accept the permanent presence of the U.S. in the region," Rafsanjani told the TV.

The cleric dismissed as baseless the U.S. allegations that Iran is supplying weapons to Iraqi Shia militia.

Turning to Iran's prolonged nuclear standoff with the West, Rafsanjani vowed that Tehran will press on with its uranium enrichment program despite mounting pressure imposed by the world powers on the country's economy.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana on June 14 put forward an updated offer of incentives on behalf of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany in exchange for a halt in Iran's uranium enrichment activities.

However the 27-nation European Union last week agreed new sanctions on Tehran including an asset freeze on its largest bank, Bank Melli, ahead of receiving Tehran's response to the new incentives.

Rafsnajani said the new package of proposals is more comprehensive than its previous versions but still contains the impossible request of suspension of enrichment.

Israel: Air strike on Iran will succeed

Press TV - A former senior Israeli general claims the regime is capable of carrying out a 'successful' air strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.

"We could do it today," said Isaac Ben-Israel, a former air force general, in an interview with Der Spiegel published Saturday.

Ben-Israel added that the only factor stopping Tel Aviv from launching the strike was the prospect of stopping Iran's nuclear program through other means.

Washington, Tel Aviv and their European allies accuse Iran of pursuing a military nuclear program and demand the country abandon its uranium enrichment.

Iran, however, insists its nuclear activities are aimed at providing fuel for its under-construction power plants.

Meanwhile, the latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran concluded after some 240 inspections of the country's nuclear sites that there is no link between the use of nuclear material and the alleged studies of weaponization.

"Only once the critical point has been reached will we choose the final option," continued the former general, who is currently a member of the Israeli parliament from prime minister Ehud Olmert's Kadima Party.

Ben-Israel, who reportedly helped plan the 1981 air raid on Iraq's 'nuclear reactor, said that hitting Iran's scattered nuclear facilities would be 'more difficult'.

He also acknowledged that the Israeli air force had recently conducted a maneuver over the Mediterranean to simulate a raid on Iran.

"It was not the first such exercise, and it won't be the last," Ben-Israel said.

A recent New York Times report quoted Pentagon officials as saying that Israel orchestrated a military maneuver in early June as a rehearsal for a potential strike on Iran's nuclear sites.

Pundits believe the military charade to have been less a dry run for an attack on Iran than a message that Tehran must curb its nuclear plans. Iran rejected the report as 'psychological warfare' but warned that any attack on the country would trigger a 'devastating response'.

IRGC commander Major General Mohammad-Ali Jafari warned Saturday that Israel is within 'the range of Iran's missiles' and that the regime despite all its abilities would not be able to confront the Islamic Republic.

Iran 'digging 320k graves for invaders'

Press TV - A senior Iranian commander says the country is digging some '320,000 graves' in its bordering provinces for future slain invaders.

Brigadier General Mir-Faisal Baqerzadeh, the Head of the Foundation for the Remembrance of the Holy Defense, said Sunday that the decision had been approved by Iran's Armed Forces Headquarters.

"We will dig 15,000 to 20,000 graves in each of the border provinces," he said.

"We do not wish the families of enemy soldiers to experience what Americans had to go through in the aftermath of the Vietnam War," added Brig. Gen. Baqerzadeh, who is also the head of the search committee for missing soldiers.

The commander said the preemptive measures would decrease the time slain soldiers would be 'missing in action'.

"The burial of slain soldiers will be carried out decently and in little time," he continued.

Baqerzadeh added that the decision is in line with the Islamic Republic's commitment to comply with the Geneva Convention and the additional protocol regarding wartime cooperation between Iran and the Red Cross.

Iran: Israel no match for our defenses

Mostafa Mohammad-NajjarPress TV - Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar says the Israeli regime is no match for the organized and skilled armed forces of Iran.

"Modern weapons are not the only defense criteria... The willpower and support of Iranians is very important," said Brigadier General Mohammad-Najjar on Sunday.

Israel will not be able to match Iran's defensive capabilities and has therefore launched psyops against Tehran, Najjar suggested.

He was referring to recent reports indicating that Israel has launched a military maneuver over the Mediterranean to rehearse for an aerial strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.

Najjar added that Tel Aviv is a 'mass producer of weapons of mass destruction' and such reports only signal its 'weakness and desperation'.

Israel accuses Iran of pursuing a military nuclear program and demands the country abandon its uranium enrichment. Tehran, however, insists its nuclear activities are aimed at providing fuel for its under-construction power plants.

A former senior Israeli general, Isaac Ben-Israel, claimed on Saturday that Tel Aviv is capable of carrying out a 'successful' aerial strike on Iranian nuclear sites at any time.

Brig. Gen. Najjar, however, warned that Iran is fully prepared to counter any act of aggression.

Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) commander Major General Mohammad-Ali Jafari said on Saturday that Israel is within 'the range of Iran's missiles', warning that Tehran would use all possible means to repel any attack on its soil.


... Payvand News - 06/29/08 ... --

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